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Waynesville seeks recognition for Green Hill Cemetery as a historical gem

haywoodHistorians in Waynesville are building a case to get Green Hill Cemetery listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“It is really a gem of a place. It not only has many historical figures there but it is a very beautiful place,” said Sandra Owens, chair of the town Historic Preservation Commission. “You can’t go there without feeling the past.”

Owens shared a little-known factoid that there are several pieces of ornamental statuary art sculpted by W.O. Wolfe, Thomas Wolfe’s father — a unique feature that could help with the bid for national register designation.

Criteria for National Register designation is tough, however. The Waynesville Historic Preservation Commission has to prepare extensive documentation for it to qualify. The town board approved $5,700 to hire a consultant to help the historic commission with the application.

Alderman Wells Greeley said it was a worthwhile cause.

“You have a piece of history that exists in your community that can never be replicated, duplicated or replaced,” Greeley said.

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Mayor Gavin Brown said National Register designation could help put the cemetery on the map as an attraction that tourists would like to visit.

“That is the kind of thing that does bring people here from the historical point of view,” Brown said.

— By Staff writer Becky Johnson

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